British seize $50 million superyacht from Russian businessman

Russia At War

A view of the yacht “Lady M”, owned by Russian oligarch Alexei Mordashov, at it is docked at Imperia’s harbor, Italy, Saturday, March 5, 2022. European governments are moving against Russian oligarchs to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to back down on his war in Ukraine, seizing superyachts and other luxury properties from billionaires on sanctions lists. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

(NewsNation) — The UK seized a $50 million superyacht from Russia Tuesday, as part of its sanctions against the country following the invasion of Ukraine.

According to the BBC, the yacht, called Phi, is owned by an unnamed Russian businessman. While the businessman the boat belonged to wasn’t sanctioned, officials said he had “close connections” to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the BBC said.

Taking a closer look at the boat, which is nearly 200 feet long, it has its own swimming pool, infinite wine cellar and can accommodate a dozen guests and 11 crew members.

The yacht, which is wider than a regulation NFL football field, is the first seized by the United Kingdom in British waters, the BBC reported.

It’s one of a growing number of superyachts seized by nations sanctioning Russian oligarchs. These powerful Russians have had their assets frozen by the West in an attempt to pressure Putin to scale back his war.

Seizing these superyachts can be difficult— many of the lavish vessels are registered in secret banks so the ultra-rich can hide their wealth, as NewsNation has reported.

Still, earlier this month, France seized a 281-foot superyacht, while Spain seized one that’s 443 feet long and has its own retractable helicopter hangar. Italy has also taken two superyachts of its own.

As of Wednesday, at least nine superyachts owned by Russian oligarchs have been seized as a part of international sanctions.

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